Dubai Customs foils a bid to smuggle 1.6 kg cocaine

Dubai: Dubai Customs inspectors at Terminal (1) of Dubai International Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle 1.6 Kg of cocaine hidden inside 83 capsules in an African passenger`s stomach while arriving in the country from an African state through Terminal (1).

Ali Al Maqhawi, Director of Airports Operations at Dubai Customs, said that the inspectors’ vigilance and their high-level alerts played a great role in seizing the smuggled substances, adding that one of the customs inspector at Terminal (1) of Dubai International Airport suspected an African passenger as he seemed to be pale, nervous, confused and anxious when under search.

Al Maqhawi said that inspectors searched the passenger’s luggage and found no forbidden substances and then they exposed him to the body scanner which showed strange objects in his stomach that were suspected to be capsules containing narcotic drug substances.

After being interrogated by the Airport authority police, the suspect admitted that the strange objects in his stomach were capsules containing cocaine, Al Maqhawi said, adding that it was found later that 83 capsules were hidden in his stomach, containing a total weight of 1,624 Kg of cocaine.

Al Maqhawi said that as per the joint cooperation and coordination between Dubai Customs and the General Headquarters of Dubai Police, the passenger was handed over to Anti- Drugs Department at Dubai Police along with a seizure report and the seized capsules to take the necessary legal action, valuing the customs inspectors’ vigilance and their speedy handling of the case.

The official added that right after the interrogation, the passenger was referred to the concerned parties to be referred immediately to the nearest hospital as it was probable that the hidden capsules could explode at any time due to their long stay in the stomach, threatening the passenger’s life.

The accumulated experience of customs inspectors enabled them to handle the case as they have previously dealt with similar stories of substances hidden in passengers’ stomachs since smugglers have innovated such a smuggling method and unaware of the great risks posed by storing poisonous substances in one’s abdomen.

The Director of Airports Operations at Dubai Customs also underlined that customs inspectors continuously undergo specialized training and workshops to develop their detecting skills of drugs and their abilities to recognize various smuggling methods.

Al Maqhawi added that issues related to types of drugs and smuggling methods, counterfeit fraud detection and deterrence, body language, developing sense of security, handling dangerous materials and explosives as well as art of inspection of persons and baggage, effective communication skills and civilized dealing with passengers are among the major subjects of these workshops and training courses.